Have you ever stopped to think about the power of saying “no” in business? Have you ever had someone approach you and request a customized catering and they go on to list all of their requests and demands, tell you it’s for a 100 people and then make sure to tell you that they have a really tight budget. They are looking to pay around $10 a person. They’ve got to be kidding right?
You know that this particular catering will require you to find unique, hard-to-find ingredients and will be a real pain. Even though you don’t want to admit it, you won’t even break even. Despite knowing all of this, I bet at some point you have said “yes” to clients like these. Sounds crazy, but I have even been desperate enough in the past to take clients who proved not being worth the time and hassle.
If you are still at this point in your business, it’s okay. I understand how difficult it can be to let go of business and say “no.”
But one of the most powerful things you can do as a business owner is to say “no.” It doesn’t matter what stage of business you are in, what you are selling, or what your personal situation is, remember that you never NEED to make a sale. To make sure that you don’t give in and stay your ground, I recommend making a list of “nevers.”
Here are some of my nevers:
Some ideas are:
- I will never compromise my values such as by taking a client that wants me to prepare food that I don’t believe in.
- I will never allow a client to bully me.
- I will never allow a client to speak to me rudely or abusively to my team or myself.
- I will never violate a client’s confidentiality.
- I will never work for free in exchange for exposure.
- I will never discount my rates.
- I will never work a 9 to 5 job.
What is your list of “nevers? The list can go on and on. The moment you start to settle for less just to earn money, the more stressed you will be and the less joy you will have in your business. You are not alone! We have all done it, accepted a client that was not an ideal fit because we don’t want to lose the income. But be honest, did you regret it? Remember, when you say “no” to what doesn’t fit, you open up space to allow in what does fit, even if it hurts a little bit financially in the short term.
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